Banned Press TV threatens legal action on regulator
April 5, 2012
By Chris Forrester
Iranian-funded Press TV, which has already been banned by the UK’s regulator Ofcom, says it will institute legal proceedings against the Bavarian media regulator. The specific allegation argues that Munich’s media regulator has made an “illegal” decision to force SES to take down the controversial broadcaster.
The channel went dark at 7pm on April 3 and prompted a flurry of statements stating that the decision to remove Press TV is a “flagrant breach of regulations and a disproportionate act.” The channel says it will be demanding compensation unless transmissions are restored by 5pm April 5.
In an email sent to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) officials, and reported on from local sources by the BBC’s Monitoring Unit, Vice President of the SES Platform Services Stephane Goebel noted that the [Munich regulator] BLM has asked that Press TV be immediately taken off the platform, claiming that the channel does not have a licence for broadcasting in Europe.
Press TV says the move is part of a “plot orchestrated by the West” to silence what it says is an alternative news network.
According to the reports, the lawsuit argues that the Munich regulator does not have the authority to pass a verdict for the removal of Press TV from the platform. “A legal measure can be taken only in cases where programmes of a third country violate internal regulations. However, BLM is not in the position of authority to make such legal moves when necessary. Such an authority lies with the commission for licensing and supervision [of Iran], Iran’s ZAK regulator.